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LETTER: It is time for some guidance from our governor

Jacob S. Herbst
Seven Valleys
York City Police officer Michael Rykowski checks a locked door at a business on West Philadelphia Street while on patrol Monday, March 23, 2020. He and other police, fire and property management representatives were checking that businesses, schools and organizations were complying with state and city COVID-19 closure orders. Bill Kalina photo

I am president of a general contracting business and in my 36 years of being in business I have never seen such lack of leadership by our state governor.

We were notified on Thursday evening, March 19, 2020, that we could not work starting Friday, March 20, 2020. If we did not abide by this order we would face consequences including loss our Pennsylvania contractor’s license, not be eligible for any small business assistance and other unspecified penalties.

Therefore, when my employees came to work on Friday morning I informed them that we would not work and be in violation of this order, and they should sign up for unemployment compensation until I could get approval for them to work.

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On Friday, March 27, 2020, I was notified that we could complete any jobs that we had started and do emergency repair work. I called my employees and had them return to work on Monday, March 30, 2020, to complete these jobs. Within three hours of being on the job site the local police showed up and said we could not work. I told the police officer that I was informed we could finish any jobs that we had started and do emergency repair work.  

I called state Rep. Seth Grove’s office, and they said apparently nobody had informed the police about this change in policy, and he would notify them. I told him that I felt it was not his job to notify the police, and it should have already been done by the governor.

My employees do not know if they have a job from day to day. This is completely unacceptable. It is time for Gov. Tom Wolf to go on TV during prime time and inform us what we can and cannot do and answer questions on live time TV asked by business owners from different industries in the state. This would alleviate much confusion, and free up the time of our state senators and representatives as they would not have to field these continuous calls for clarification.

It would also free up the time of our state and local police as they would not have to respond to so many calls for complaints about nonconforming contractors.

Gov. Tom Wolf we need your guidance now.